Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lights... Camera... FASHION!


You’re going to love the contest we’ve put together for you this month. We’re giving away three fashion in the movies themed gift baskets. Each contains a wonderful Hand Sewn Felt Mouse ornament of a fashion Guru, corresponding DVD Movie, and tin of Gourmet Popcorn to accompany your private screening.

But first, to enter; you’ll need to be your own movie director. We want to see you in action, getting your ideas on to paper. Preferably our paper. Set up your camera, and capture yourself doing what you do best- recording those fab design ideas you have swirling around your head. Here’s an example of an inspiring demo movie Katie Rodgers did for us; You do nothave to use a Hokey Croquis Sketchpad for this, you can download our templates in our ‘Freebies’ section and use them or draw your designs freehand.


To be in the running to WIN:
1. e-mail a link to your movie, your name, mailing address and daytime contact details to Also include a line telling us where how you heard about Hokey Croquis, your age, hobbies , job and aspirations.

Conditions of Entry
The 3 Winners of the Fashion icon gift baskets will be judged according to their presentation and their design content. Judges are looking for creativity and talent as well as a great sense of Fashion!

  • Entry is open worldwide.
  • Enter as many times as you like providing each entry is unique and original.
  • Entries may published online at the discretion of Hokey Croquis Inc.
  • Entry closes 31st January 2010 at 10am.
The 3 competition winners will be announced on the Hokey Croquis Blog and notified via email.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

One White Dress

The Hokey Croquis Contest on the One White Dress Bridal site is coming to a close.
It's been really fun seeing these brides put together their dream ensembles, and we loved hearing how they find Hokey Croquis sketchpads to be such an indispensable tool in planning their big day,
Here are some examples of the entries we've seen so far, you can view the rest here;


“The number one accessory for all fashionistas, designers and stylist - Hokey Croquis, paper inspiration for the new creed!”

“Hokey Croquis to me is somewhere I can feel free to express my creative side although I am no Picasso.”


“Fashion designers of the world – the Hokey Croquis really is what it’s all about.”

“Fashionflat Sketchpads are an endless piece of stationery that allows ones dreams to become a reality”

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fashion Students Online reviews Hokey Croquis...

We sent A.J at Fashion Students Online a pad, to hear her feedback-here's what she came up with, thanks for the great review AJ! Hop over to Fashion Students Online to pick up great news, tips and tidbits.

I was contacted by Tamar Daniel of Hokey Croquis and asked if I would be interested in reviewing the Hokey Croquis, a pre-printed notebook to be used as a tool in fashion design. I had run across the website a couple times before and was intrigued so I took Tamar up on the offer.
Despite it being December and the fact that I live on a different continent to the company's offices, the book arrived quickly. I was impressed. The book arrived in a plain padded white envelope and inside the envelope the Hokey Croquis was actually wrapped in gold and brown striped wrapping paper. Very classy. Plus it served to keep the book from getting scratched upon my vigorous opening of the envelope.

The presentation of the book itself is quite nice. It's coil bound so that you can flip the pages completely over and has a stiff thick cardboard front and back. Both the front and the back are embossed with shiny gold designs and there is a ribbon closure so that you can be sure the book will not flip open by accident and ruin your pages or drop additional pages you've loosely inserted as part of your research.

When you open the book up you get an instruction sheet explaining how to use the book and giving you a brief lesson on what a fashion flat is and why fashion designers do them. In addition to the instruction sheet you will also see a little package of stickers (who doesn't like stickers?). Their purpose is that you can put your initials on the front of the book without using pen and there are also some non-letter design stickers for you to use also.

I try not to ever take myself too seriously, so this is what I came up with: 

Now for the book itself, what IS the Hokey Croquis, anyway? It's always best to go to the source for these types of questions and on the Hokey Croquis website I found the following quote:
"Musicians pull sheets of staff paper when they want to score a tune. Mathematicians use graph paper or number lines. Architects and interior designers have their own specialty gear as well. But fashion designers use a cumbersome mix of tracing paper, light boxes and other tools to create fashion sketches that can ultimately be transformed into chic clothing."

Boy is Tamar right on that one. Doing technical illustrations by hand is a real pain. It's not hard but it's a pain. The standard method is to take a template of a human body, at realistic proportions and to put a piece of paper on top of it. You then use a light box so that you can see the template through the top sheet, or you use paper which is thin as the top sheet so that you can see through it to the template below. Then you draw your technical flat on top. This will give you the right proportions and a clean finish. But it is a pain. Sometimes that paper slips and then you have to start again. Plus, wouldn't it be nicer to just have ONE tool, rather than multiple sheets of different thicknesses and possibly a giant box just to make a flat drawing?
So you might be wondering "Why can't I just photocopy the templates and draw on them?" And the answer to that is, sure, go ahead. No one is stopping you. But here's the thing, professional flats can not show the template, only the clothing. Not only does it look bad and can be distracting, but all those lines could make it difficult for the patternmaker (the person who desperately needs your flat to be accurate) to see the seam lines clearly. Plus thick lines can make it difficult for you too! Especially if you are not a pro at drawing flats yet, which I'm guessing if you're reading this that you aren't...sorry for the assumption but I'm right, aren't I?

The lines on the Hokey Croquis are thin and light. In fact I had to darken the photo that I took quite a bit so that you could see it clearly on the computer monitor...I really need to learn how to use my camera better but that is another topic entirely. The Hokey Croquis claims that the lines are light enough that they will not show up on a photocopy. This means you keep your Hokey Croquis with all of your original flats and produce copies, minus the lines, for your portfolio and to give to patternmakers and other professionals you are working with. If you really must give out the originals the pages are perforated so that you can rip them out with clean lines and avoid the messy look that spiral bound pages would normally give.
Probably the most important feature of the Hokey Croquis is that it uses thick paper suitable for pencil, pen, light paint or markers. This is the number one reason that I would choose to purchase it rather than use the other methods I described above. This allows you to do coloured flats and to use the notes area or the blank opposite pages for colour research. You would only be able to use this thick paper for a flat if you were using a light box, which can be extremely limiting (namely limiting your creative location to only where there is a box you can use).
I'm feeling less than artistic today so I decided to yank an image off of the Hokey Croquis website rather than draw my own. Plus, let's face it, their photography rivals mine in so many ways. In the image below you can see how the Hokey Croquis is meant to be utilized. The garment is drawn on top of the light figure, both the front and the back. Then in the notes section fabric samples are collected, design details are noted, buttons and other trims are glued in or drawn, the title of the garment is there (or style number if you prefer).

Now, you might be wondering "uh...but I want to design, I don't want to do flats" and what you probably are not aware of is that many designers design on the flat. They do it for many reasons:
  1. It could be faster if their drawing skills are not very good
  2. It saves time because the flats are already done. Every garment which will go into production needs a flat done no matter how beautiful the illustration is or how clear the sketch is.
  3. Many (most?) designers in the real world are not very good at art and while they may be able to read their sketches, noone else can. Designing on the flat is the only way for many to be able to communicate their ideas.
  4. The vast majority of designers are working at companies which have a set of styles and silhouettes repeated from season to season. All they do is find the new colours and change small style lines. It doesn't make sense to do pretty fashion sketches during the design process for these types of companies because most of the design being done is not in style but rather colour and fabric. It is a waste of the company's resources to pay it's designers to draw when they could be sourcing fabric and using flats to communicate the style-line changes they have decided to implement due to the current trends and customer research.
  5. Usually the only person that really appreciates the sketch is the designer her/himself. Some designers find their ideas flow better to draw a person in their clothing, in poses and situations relevant to the target customer but if a designer is not working for themselves, they may do only their initial ideas via sketch and then move to flats for the finalized designs which will be shared with others on the team...unless of course they're the head of a big company where they have an assistant and another person dedicated to flats. In that case the designer usually does what they want.
Either way, chances are very high that at some point in your career, you will have to design on the flat so you might as well learn how to do it now and the Hokey Croquis is a great tool. I definitely recommend it. And I recommend it for those who design by sketching but need to produce flats to share the designs in a professional way with others, or to include flats in their portfolio. The Hokey Croquis sells for $15USD and it's my personal opinion that considering the high quality of the paper, and the fact that is a pre-printed speciality item it easily rivals blank sketchbooks which sell for the same price (or more!).
Now to be fair, it's important to always cover the negatives of every product. In my opinion the only negative would be that there are only 40 pages. This is limited by the thickness of the paper and the price point which the product needs to meet for consumers to be willing to spend money on it. I wouldn't recommend the Hokey Croquis for sketching if you are not really focussed about what you want to draw because you can go through 40 pages pretty quickly and you probably won't use more than half of the designs anyway. But then again that's not really the point of the Hokey Croquis, it is more for people who have whittled their designs down and know which flats they need to produce or for those designers who are experienced and focussed and won't waste. It would be my advice, if you are concerned about costs, to keep a Hokey Croquis for your good flats and to do all your rough work on loose paper...much the same way most of us do not use our $20 sketchbooks for doodles and playing around but rather for proper researching, collaging, and working through our relevant and applicable ideas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fabulous gifts, inspiring ideas...

Tis the season to be gifting, and though we're all inundated with well meaning gift guides, for what it's worth- here are some goodies which induced squeals of delight here at HC Headquarters...

  • For the aspiring, professional or hobbyist Designer, how about this specialty set of markers from Letraset. They come in 24 delicious shades, and would work beautifully with your Fashionflat Sketchpad!

    • An Infinity scarf is a snuggly, fresh take on a traditional present. We particularly like Ash and Dans' range of embellished styles.


    • Solid Perfume is just the thing for a Jet-setting mate, as you can take it in your hand luggage, and it's spill proof. The adorable packaging on these Pacifica scents is just an added bonus!


    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    Well, we were pretty overwhelmed by all the great entries we received,
    But the winners are {drumroll please}
    Schaumin, Daniel, Tory, Veronica, and Mandy.

    Congrats to all our winners and thank you to all our contestants!
    Winners will be contacted separately.

    Happy new year everyone, and watch this space  for our adorable January contest.

    This Dress at left was our favorite entry by Schaumin. Isn't it cute? and we adore the shoes too. You can visit her blog here;

    See you in 2010 designers!

    Holiday season is upon us, and whether you’re attending fabulous parties in your most ravishing cocktail dress, or just wishing you were - we’re itching to see what wonderful party dress designs you can come up with! 

    The only criteria we have; you have to design the dress yourself, and it has to be a dress (not a two piece, not a pant suit).
    Go ahead and send your original designs to us at for a chance to win one of five Hokey Croquis Fashionflat sketchpads. Our innovative Fashionflat Sketchpads are just the thing for anyone who loves dreaming about their drop-dead-gorgeous party wear. We created the Fashionflat Sketchpad to help both pros and would-be-designers to present inspired designs effortlessly- so no matter what your skill level, we’d love to see what you’ve got!

    To be in the running to WIN:
    1. e-mail your image, (in a single attachment) your name, mailing address and daytime contact details to
    2. In the body of your e-mail include one sentence telling us what you like about the Fashionflat Sketchpad.
    Conditions of Entry
    The 5 Winners of the Fashionflat Sketchpad will be judged according to their stylish fashion sense and their accompanying description of Hokey Croquis. Judges are looking for creativity and flair as well as a great sense of Fashion!
    * Entry is open worldwide.
    * Enter as many times as you like providing each entry is unique and original.
    * Entries will may published online at the discretion of Hokey Croquis Inc.
    * Entries close 31st December 2009.
    The 5 competition winners will be announced on Hokey Croquis and notified via email.

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    { Introducing Katie Rodgers of 'Paper Fashion' }

    Our Guest Blogger this week is the very talented and Lovely Katie Rodgers. You might know her from her beautiful blog Paper Fashion.  
    We asked Katie to show us how she uses her Fashionflat Sketchpad, and to tell us a bit about being a Designer for Reebok, a fabulous Fashion Illustrator and a really cool person. Over to you Katie Girl~

    My name is Kathryn Elyse Rodgers, and I am a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University. I have a BFA in Industrial Design, but after pursuing fashion and apparel on my own, I realized it was my true passion! I now have a career in Apparel Design, and currently work in Boston for Reebok.

    As an Apparel Designer, sketching is a huge part of my day. I spend a lot of time coming up with quick apparel design ideas. As much as I'd like to spend hours on each illustration, (as I do for my blog!) I don't really have that kind of time at work. That's what's great about Hokey Croquis sketchpads- the croquis is already there, so I can just sketch out the ideas quickly. Usually I spend a lot of time redrawing croquis, so it's a nice change!

    Every since I started working full time, I realized I needed some sort of outside outlet. I decided to start an illustration blog, since illustration is a part of design which I love. My blog, PaperFashion, really keeps me going more than anything else…and the thought that people enjoy seeing my work really makes me happy.


     Thanks so much for sharing Katie, next time we're all coming to visit you in the Reebok Studio :)

    Saturday, November 7, 2009

    Daily Candy ~ Sweet!

    November 5, 2009 | Everywhere

    The Weekend Guide
    What to Do This Weekend

    A Fashion Designer

    What: Stylish sketchbooks feature figure templates (that disappear when photocopied) and a notes section on every page.
    Why: Unleash your inner Coco.
    Where: Online at

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    {Drawing on the Half } Maximum results, in less time!

    ~ Draw. Start out by drawing your garment on half of the croquis. I use pencil, then go over the lines which look right with a fine pen, wait for the ink to dry and erase the pencil lines. You could color half your image at this point if you wanted.

    ~ Scan. Carefully tear out your page along the perforated edge, and scan to your computer. I scan my images straight into Adobe Photoshop.

    ~ Contrast. Using the 'levels' { image/adjustments/levels} feature, I play with the contrast to clean up the image.

     ~ Duplicating and Flipping. There are multiple ways of doing this, but what I do is;
    • Make a copy of the 'Background' layer you're in. Then delete the original background. 
    • Using the Magic eraser tool {with the contiguous box checked } remove the white from around your image. 
    • Create and new background layer and fill it with white. 
    • Now your Flat sketch should be on a layer of it's own. Float over it with the move arrow, and hold down 'Alt'. Now grab it and move it slightly, this will generate another copy of your garment. 
    • Go to Edit/Transform/Flip Horizontal, and your new layer will become the mirror image of the first. You can use the arrows on your keypad to perfectly align them. 
    • Merge the two garment layers.
    At this point, you have the option of coloring your sketch using Photoshop, or printing it out and coloring it by hand, or leaving it black and white!
    See the next step to change it into a Vector illustration in Adobe Illustrator.


    ~ Changing a black and white JPEG into a Vector Image. Import your jpeg into Illustrator.
    Ensure that the image is selected, then go to Object/ Live trace/ Make and expand. Now with the White arrow, click on the background, and delete it. You should be left with an editable vector image.

    ~ Color and Stitch; I like to use illustrator to add neat details such as stitch placement, drop shadows, and color or fill. There are different schools of thought regarding coloring flats, some people think you should leave them clean and use adjacent fabric or color swatches to describe the fabrication.
    If you want though, Illustrator is a powerful tool which can be used to simulate all kinds of fabric or color treatments and finishes.

    Friday, October 9, 2009

    { Shopping in Paris in Philadelphia }

    Head down to the Philadelphia art museum to indulge your 'My Fair Lady' alter ego.
    Shopping in Paris: French Fashion 1850–1925
    April 11, 2009 - October 25, 2009
    I for one cannot get enough of those electric blue ostrich feathers!

    Thursday, October 8, 2009

    { Lace in Translation }

    Check out Lace in Translation, an exploration by three contemporary international art/design studios, whose works are inspired by traditional lace imagery.

    These European and Canadian art/design teams explored the historic Quaker Lace Company collection of The Design Center at Philadelphia University for inspiration, and were commissioned to create new, site-specific works for installation in the Center’s galleries and on its adjoining grounds. The exhibition runs September 24, 2009 – April 3, 2010.

    Tuesday, October 6, 2009

    { The September Issue }

    Some of our favorite shots from the movie, and the actual magazine;

    Sunday, October 4, 2009

    { Our website is live, the pad has launched }

    Gorgeous Launch poster design courtesy of Avital Schreiber-Levy! We love this.

    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    { The Tim and I }

     We had the honor of meeting Mr. Tim Gunn today, what a gentleman!
    Schmoozing with Tim Gun is like talking to your wise best friend you know you should listen to.
    we covered a few topics, all close to my heart;
    • How to look put together even though you have small kids at home. ( I have three, I try to look put together, and often end up looking pulled apart. Or at least peed on!
    • Tim puts this, and many other things down to Silhouette, Proportion and Fit. ( you can see more about that Here)
    • How to survive in the fashion industry. He said- " you'd better really love it, or you won't" (Survive, that is.) I couldn't agree more...

    Tuesday, September 29, 2009

    { Press release day }

    You can download adorable labels like the one we used on the swing tag  here;

    Monday, September 28, 2009

    { I Heart ITS }

    The Year I graduated Shenkar College, I was fortunate enough to be chosen to compete in the ITS 5 (International Talent Support) Competition in Italy. This meant that my graduating collection was selected from over 800 entries, to be shown on the runway in Trieste. It was an awesome experience. I was lucky to meet super talented individuals from all over the world, and to learn from them.
    I even walked away with the WGSN best collection prize!

    I'm bringing this up now because the wonderful people behind ITS have become like family to me. and they have given Hokey Croquis a fantastic write-up in their in focus section; HERE

    So massive thanks to  my ITS family! And go check out the review>

    { Isabel Toledo @ F.I.T }

    Architectural detailing and saturated soft color from Isabel Toledo, see it here:

     {Photograph by William Palmer ©MFIT}